Court attack exposes security lapses

Michael Kuhora Njeri, an electrician, was on Wednesday arraigned for attempted murder and obstruction of justice.

Tuesday’s attack on a magistrate and two other people by a convict has exposed security lapses in Kenyan courtrooms.

The prosecution said he assaulted resident magistrate Eunice Kelly, Ms Edith Adhiambo — a complainant — and Constable Regina Wanjiru.

Kuhora told the court that he got furious when the magistrate sentenced him to three years in prison in the assault case against him.

According to witnesses, the enraged man pounced on Ms Adhiambo before turning on the magistrate and the court orderly.

Only one security officer was in the court at the time of the attack. The Nation has also established that most orderlies are fresh graduates of police training colleges.

Kuhora said he got the screwdriver he used in the attack from government offices where he was working as a casual.

He said he was “slightly drunk” at the time of the attack and pleaded for forgiveness because he had a wife and a child “and I am also an orphan”.

Kuhora, however, denied obstructing court duties and causing disturbance at the court.

The court directed that he remains in custody until Thursday when details of the case would be read to him.


Former Law Society of Kenya Rift Valley chapter chairman Benard Kipkoech Ng’etich on Wednesday said courtrooms should always have enough security personnel.

“Police commanders should ensure courts are highly guarded,” he said.

He said even if the law does not allow handcuffing of the accused in court, those convicted should be cuffed immediately.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice David Maraga condemned the attack and said the Judiciary would not be intimidated by cowardly acts.

“I condemn the attack on the magistrate, the complainant and a police officer and wish them quick recovery,” Justice Maraga said before sending his deputy to Nakuru.

“I want the public to know that we will continue to discharge our duties without fear.”

In Nakuru, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu announced that the security system would be strengthened to ensure the safety of court users and officials.

The DJC said there would be increased surveillance at entrances and courtrooms from next week.

“The Judiciary is working closely with the Ministry of Interior and National coordination. We have requested for more security officers to man courts and avert similar incidents,” said Justice Mwilu.


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